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MTV, the network that completely sold out its musical roots as a spear-header of the reality TV craze, is continuing that trend while trying to capitalize on another. MTV announced on Monday that the cable channel has acquired four new reality shows, and the only buzzwords you really need to keep in mind are virgins, break ups and food competition. Unfortunately, the shows themselves are more than just buzzwords.
Let’s take them on one by one, shall we? There is an hour-long primetime show that’s currently going by the name Untitled Virgins Project, a perfectly fitting title, which will weave its way through the lives of several virginal young adults, especially the parts of those lives that deal with sex, or a lack thereof. The show will follow people all over the country and will focus on “messy love lives, awkward parental sex talks, sexually active friends and the pressure to give in to their temptations,” all while relaying relevant information from their Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “It’s Your (Sex) Life” campaign. I’m not going to just trash this series outrightly, but I do question what kind of demographic these guys are going for by setting this show up for a primetime run. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The network's other primetime offering will be the terribly-titled MTV’s House of Food, which will be a food competition show with a cast of chefs living under one roof all vying for a prized apprenticeship. So it’s like The Real World mixed with every single long-form food competition show that’s already out there. Top Chef already does a pretty good job of giving viewers behind-the-scenes looks at the chefs’ temporary group home life, but those are talented, well-established chefs, while House of Food will only feature those that are young and aspiring. And I bet the house will be fucking amazing.
Food is also on the brain for the half-hour afternoon show Snackdown, created by skateboarder and MTV reality show vet Rob Dyrdek. This show, which sounds like Chopped for the stoner crowd, will feature a group of amateur chefs who battle it out over snack-theme challenges, while host Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat) guides them and eggs them on. Their efforts will be judged by model and food blogger Chrissy Teigen, master chef Jason Quinn, and a third unannounced judge. What’s the prize? Cash, a spot in the Snackdown cookbook, and a golden spork necklace. I need one of those necklaces.
But I won’t get broken up about it if I don’t. Speaking of break-ups, The Ex and the Why will be another afternoon half-hour series where former couples come together to tell stories about failed relationships, which will offer both closure and the potential for a second chance at romance. No host has been set for this one yet, and I’m thinking whoever is chosen will make or break the show. This subject matter isn’t something I regularly get into, but there is a high potential for trashy buffoonery, and I’m always on board for that.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, all four series will begin airing on the network at some point in 2014.